This video has been around for a while and I've used it in various presentations as a powerful illustration of using the web to change lives.
It represents for me a few very valuable lessons.
1. The Web Can Change Lives. The way in which ideas are exchanged and built on top of each other happens every day. Mostly in trivial ways, sometimes in destructive ways but potentially in life changing ways. We as educators must continue to elevate our game to harness this.
2. The number of easy entry points increase. If you're not familiar with Kiva, please go there now. Kiva and sites like it allow you to not simply give money but to participate and educator yourself about helping others. This would be a wonderful project for a school or classroom. They'll even help you out with that.
3. The visual representation and personal connection matters. We've all watched countless commercials and programs urging support for third world countries. The images and videos they use are designed to draw you in emotionally and it obviously works to some degree. However, if you're like me, you might be getting acclimatized to this and may not pay much attention anymore. The difference for me behind the water buffalo story and Kiva is the personal connection. In addition the images and video are pretty raw, shot with a personal device that captures the emotion and personal story.
4. The world is getting smaller and bigger at the same time. The power of these connections in one sense make the world seem smaller and on the other hand open our eyes to the vast circumstances, geography and living standards of so many people. I pay much more attention to geography and have a vested interest in learning about place.
So maybe consider your obligations to your students to reach out to those in need and find way sto understand the world in authentic, meaningful, life changing ways. And since many reading this already are doing this, share your story so others can be inspired to do likewise.